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Common Pitfalls When Selling a Home

Posted By Mclain

Selling your home can be an extremely challenging process and this is especially true for first-time sellers. Most first-time sellers fail to recognize the amount of time one has to dedicate in order to successfully sell a home. On top of that, it’s is also an emotionally taxing process. Imagine having strangers come into your home, which you’ve grown to love over the years, and have them criticize it? This goes for both first-time and seasoned sellers. Selling your home will always be challenging and one simple mistake can make or break a deal.

However, this process can be a lot easier if you are aware of the common mistakes and pitfalls most homeowners encounter when trying to sell their homes. Once you are able to anticipate these problems and mistakes, you will be able to handle them better should you encounter them. In this article, we listed the common mistakes and pitfalls most homeowners encounter when selling a home. Read on to learn more.

 

Pitfall #1: Letting emotions get the best of them

As mentioned above, this process can get extremely emotional. For most homeowners, their home is their most prized possession. Other than the financial aspect, over some time, a home can hold a lot of memories that we’ve shared with the people that we love. It is not impossible that we are now emotionally attached to our home. When strangers begin to criticize your home, it can be rough. But again, just one wrong response can break a deal.

So how do you keep your emotions in check? There are two ways to go about this. The first option is to recall your experience when you were the buyer. Buying a home is just as stressful and exhausting as selling a home. This mindset will help you empathize with the prospects. The second option is to change your mindset. Once you have decided to sell your home, instead of thinking of yourself as the homeowner, switch your mindset to that of a businessperson. Treat it as a business transaction. This will help you stay rational throughout the process.

 

Pitfall #2: “For Sale By Owner” (FSBO)

Another pitfall most homeowners commit is opting to sell their own homes instead of hiring a real estate agent. Most homeowners choose to sell their own homes because they don’t want to pay an agent their fees and commissions. Although that may be true, what usually ends up happening is that these homeowners spend money as well trying to market their property. Hiring a great agent can save you from committing all of these mistakes.

On top of that, they know the market better. Their market and industry knowledge can allow you to sell your home faster. They know when a prospect is the right prospect or not. A great real estate agent is also the best mediator. You wouldn’t have to deal with as much emotional stress as the real estate agent becomes the rational party in the transaction.

 

Pitfall #3: Unrealistic Pricing

One of the most common pitfalls of homeowners is setting an unrealistic price for their home. In fact, if you were to ask real estate agents, most of them would tell you that overpricing your home is one of the biggest mistakes you can make when trying to sell your own home. If you have experience buying a home with an agent before, you would be familiar with a CMA or comparative market analysis. Chances are, your buyers will also be getting the CMA report from their agents.

Overpricing your home can easily break the deal. Most first-time sellers do not recognize the advantage of pricing your home on the lower end. Pricing your home on the lower end can attract more buyers. When there are a number of buyers, negotiations start. And when the negotiations start, you now have the upper hand. This, ideally, will lead to the price of your home increasing.

 

Pitfall #4: Skipping Major Repairs

Lastly, most homeowners tend to skip making major repairs to their homes before selling. They are not willing to spend extra money on making repairs in a home that they won’t be living in. Although on paper that makes sense, skipping on major repairs can actually have major repercussions as well. For one, this can easily turn off prospects. Imagine walking into a home and seeing that there are broken windows or heating systems. When you’re trying to sell your home, your goal is to make it the most presentable version that you can. Major repairs can also delay the sale of your home as buyers would be waiting on them to get fixed before moving on. On top of all that, having major issues with your home can give the buyers the upper hand when it comes to negotiating. This can ultimately lead them to ask for a lower price. Therefore, skipping on making the repairs will only cost you more in the long run.

Common Pitfalls When Buying a Home

Posted By Mclain

Buying a home is a life-changing decision that involves a lot of time and consideration. Throughout the buying process, it is possible for homebuyers to feel overwhelmed or to get distracted along the way. On top of that, it is also an emotional process. This is especially true for first-time homebuyers. It can be easy for most to commit mistakes and possibly not end up with the property that they really want. This is why it is important for homebuyers to be aware of the common pitfalls most commit when trying to find the home of their dreams.

In this article, we list the common pitfalls homebuyers make when buying a home. Hopefully, through this article, you can avoid these pitfalls and have a great buying experience.

 

#1 Not having a working budget

One of the most common pitfalls homebuyers fall for is not having a working budget. Most buyers simply rely on their accountants or their banks to tell them their budget. But in reality, just because the banks tell you that you can afford it doesn’t mean that it’s the right budget for you. This is simply because, at the end of the day, you’re the only person who can know the amount that you’re comfortable with spending. On top of that, you have a clearer picture of your monthly bills and your living expenses. You have to remember that on top of paying your mortgage, you still have a long list of monthly bills that you have to keep up with; take those into consideration when setting your budget.

Moreover, setting a working and clear budget can help you eliminate a number of listings right from the get-go. Again, buying a home can be highly emotional, one can easily get carried away with stunning properties. If you don’t have a clear working budget, you might end up buying a home that you can’t afford.

 

#2 Getting distracted by shiny objects

Another pitfall that homebuyers can commit is getting distracted by shiny objects. Shiny objects can be anything from the interior, the furniture, the overall design of a home. Although noticing these details is great to see the potential of a home, it can also distract the buyer from focusing on the quality of the property.

Instead of solely focusing on what the property looks like when it’s all dressed up, a homebuyer must first focus on the foundation of the property. Inspect the property thoroughly. Check if the integral structure of the property is still in good condition. Look for issues that can cause major problems in the future or might need repairing. A home can easily be made up to attract buyers, but it’s the quality of a home that buyers must focus on.

 

#3 Shopping without an agent

If you’re a serious homebuyer, you need an agent. The pros of having an agent definitely outweigh the cons. It does not matter how well-versed you are in your finances or even in real estate, you need an agent. Buyers who shop around without an agent typically end up paying more for the property than they would have if they have hired an agent. Skipping on hiring an agent to save money on their fees is not worth can only work to your disadvantage in the long run.

 

#4 Focusing on finding the perfect home

It is normal for homeowners to create a checklist of the things that they’re looking for, that dream home. Everybody wants to find their perfect home, but focusing too much on finding the perfect home can be your downfall. When shopping around, you might find a good property that checks most of the boxes on your checklist but it’s missing an item or two. Don’t immediately rule out this property. The reality is, your perfect home might not exist at all.

If you hold out for too long, trying to find a home that checks all of your boxes, you might be foregoing your chances of buying a great property. As long as there are more checks than misses, you should definitely take that into consideration. Conversely, you must also not rush into making a decision. As much as you shouldn’t wait for the perfect property, you must also put in the time to shop around.

 

#5 Buying when still in doubt

The last pitfall we’ll be discussing is buying a home you’re still unsure about. It cannot be emphasized enough how big of a decision and commitment buying a home is. If after ample consideration, there are still things you’re worried about a property, it’s probably not the right property for you.

Home Security: How to Make Your New Home Safer

Posted By Mclain

Whether you’ve been living in your home for several years or decades now or have recently moved to a new home, home security is always of utmost importance. Here are simple tips you can follow to ensure that you and your family are safe in your homes:

 

#1 Secure the Doors

If you have recently moved into a new house, be sure to change all the locks. Just because you trust the previous owners doesn’t mean that they were completely safe and cautious of their actions; there is still a possibility that someone aside from the owners might have access to the keys or codes. On the other hand, if you’ve lived in the property for a long time, try to reinforce your locks from time to time to ensure that it still holds.

At the same time, it is also important that you remember to always lock your doors. Regardless of the time of the day, you must remember to deny intruders access to your home at all times. At night, remember as well to lock the doors inside your house so that in case a burglar is able to break into your home, you and your family are still safe inside the rooms.

 

#2 Keep it Bright

Burglars and intruders hate nothing more than to be seen in light. Installing ample lighting in your front and back yard can help keep intruders away. Try investing in motion lighting, but if you’re worried about your monthly electricity bills, it is best to invest in quality solar-powered lights.

 

#3 Lock Your Windows and Garage Doors

Most burglars enter a home either through an unlocked window or garage door. It is not enough that you check your doors, but you must also be vigilant in checking for any unlocked windows or garage doors. If you have an automatic garage door opener, be sure that you keep it safe and sound and away from strangers who can easily snatch it.

 

#4 Set Up a Security System

You can either choose to invest in a top-of-the-line security system or have a DIY security system set up. Today, there are a lot of security system options that cater to the majority. Depending on your needs, security systems vary as well in prices and purposes. There are also a number of modern smart home security systems available in the market today. A good tip is for you to conduct proper research prior to purchasing and setting up a security system. You can canvas your neighborhood, do research online, or even ask your local enforcement officers for their professional opinion.

 

#5 Secure Your Valuables

When all else fails, it is important that your valuables are safely stored. As high-tech as we are today, nothing still beats a good old safe. From jewelry to passports, to documents it is important that you invest in a safe that keeps these valuables from the hands of the burglars. Be sure that your safe is big enough to store everything that you need in there as well as that it’s heavy enough that burglars will be unable to move it. It is also important that you remember to store your firearms in a gun safe. Most burglars find firearms as desirable items.

 

#6 Mark Your Territory

Whether you prefer having bushes around your yard or actual fences, demarcating your property is also another way of making your home safer. Not only will this fend off burglars or unwanted visitors, but this will also help you to identify easily when someone is already trespassing on your property.

 

#7 Be Careful Who You Talk To

More than the physical aspect of reinforcing doors, security systems, fences in your home, there are also a lot of other aspects that can help make your home a lot safer. For one, you always have to be mindful of who you’re talking to and the details that you give out. For example, if you’re going on a vacation, it’s best if you only inform people who you truly trust. If this information gets in the hands of the wrong people, your home might be the next burglary target. This applies as well whenever you have workers in your home. If you’re new to the area and are employing new workers, be sure to check their IDs and to verify the names of the workers from the company. Moreover, whether it’d be your plumber, electrician, or carpenter, always be mindful of the information that you share with them.

 

#8 Secure Your Wi-Fi Network

Albeit a little bit advance, when it comes to your safety and your family’s safety, it’s best to be sure. Only use a secure Wi-Fi network, especially when you have a smart home. Hackers can easily hack Wi-Fi networks now if left unsecured and they may be able to get access to your home security system or other personal information.

Pros and Cons of a House Inspection

Posted By Mclain

Are you planning to sell your home? If you’re planning to sell your home in the near future, you’ve probably heard of home inspection. But what is a pre-listing home inspection exactly? A pre-listing home inspection is when you, the seller, hire a professional to perform a thorough inspection of the state of your home prior to listing it on the market. Usually, once a property is listed in the market, an interested buyer will typically hire a professional as well for another round of home inspection. This is the exact reason why some sellers opt-out of having their own home inspection.

If you’re someone who is on the fence about having a home inspection, we’ve listed out the pros and cons of this process to help you make a more informed decision.

 

PROS

Identifies the Condition of your Home

One of the main advantages of having a pre-listing home inspection is that it reveals the current condition of your home. There are a number of aspects in your home that can be deceiving and it is better to find out the actual condition of your home rather than getting surprised afterward once the buyer has conducted their own inspection.

 

Cheaper or DIY Repairs

Another advantage of a pre-listing inspection is that it gives you the option to perform the repairs needed yourself. If the inspection report shows that there are minor issues that you know you can easily repair, then that will save you money down the road. Moreover, if the inspection report reveals major issues, you still have the freedom to select the contractor that you trust and is probably cheaper.

On the other hand, if you opt not to have a pre-listing inspection and the buyer is the one who discovers these issues, they might want a different contractor which can cost you more.

 

More Accurate Pricing

Having a pre-listing home inspection allows you to get a better grip on the worth of the property. If you are blindly pricing your home, you may have a difficult time selling your home. An overpriced home may lead you to have fewer offers, whereas an underpriced home may cause you to lose money from the transaction.

As the inspection report will reveal the condition of your home, you will have a better idea of where your home sits in the market. This will also help you once you have hired a Realtor to assist you in the entire process.

 

Easier Negotiations

Choosing to have a pre-listing home inspection can save you from having a lot of negotiations with your future buyer. For one, when negotiating, you can use your inspection report as leverage. Another reason for this is that this prevents any surprises during a deal as you would know what the home inspection will reveal and that the results of the inspection have already been considered with the original price of your home.

 

CONS

Additional Expense

The first obvious disadvantage to having a pre-listing home inspection is the additional expense. A typical home inspection will cost you a minimum of $200. Whereas if you opt to just skip a pre-listing inspection and wait for the buyer to request for their own, you wouldn’t need to shell out extra money.

 

Going Through Two Inspections

As previously mentioned, the buyer will eventually ask for their own home inspection so although it is recommended that you get a pre-listing home inspection, it is not required. There is also a slim possibility that the home inspection report that you get is different from the results received by the buyer. Naturally, the buyer will have to trust their inspection report over yours and you would have lost your leverage.

 

Full Disclosure

As a seller, you are required to disclose any findings that you are aware of regarding your property. This includes all of the renovations and changes that you have done to the property. By opting to have your home inspected, you are now committing yourself to disclose these findings to the buyer. Regardless if these are minor or major issues, you must now disclose them and this can be a deal-breaker to certain buyers.

 

In summary, it will ultimately depend on your personal preference. If you’re someone who doesn’t handle stress very well and is someone who needs to know and plan everything, then it might be best for you to have a pre-listing home inspection. However, if these types of situations do not bother you, you can save yourself a couple of hundred dollars by not having one.

How to Make Your Home Kid-friendly

Posted By Mclain

Starting a family is a huge financial commitment in itself and more often than not, first-time parents are unable to find the perfect home to start their family in. Just like with any other commitment we make in life, finding the right house will require you to decide on your wants, needs, and non-negotiables.

 

If you think you’ve found the right home for you but still wonder if it is suitable for your future family, there are a lot of ways to make your home more kid-friendly than its current state.

 

Here are some thoughtful ideas to consider: 

 

Check the Sockets

Check the location of sockets in your home. Sockets are a huge hazard to children as children tend to stick their fingers in holes which is why sockets should be out of their reach. If the sockets are within the reach of children, quality plug sockets are widely available online or in your local hardware. 

 

Fixed-cushion Sofa

When it comes to your living room, try to look for a fixed-cushion sofa. A fixed-cushion sofa will make your life easier and make your living room look orderly as kids won’t be able to pull out the cushions. 

 

Rounded Furniture

Sharp corners are extremely dangerous for kids whenever they decide to run and play in your home. Invest in rounded furniture to avoid any serious injury. If buying new furniture is outside your budget area, consider buying corner guards. Corner guards may not be aesthetically pleasing but will do the same job as rounded furniture.

 

Practical Flooring

Kids are an unpredictable ball of energy which is why your flooring should be practical and durable to wear and tear. Nowadays, there are a lot of alternatives to hardwood flooring. For example, vinyl floorings now look extremely realistic and are extremely cheap which makes them a great alternative to hardwood flooring. 

 

In addition to the flooring, consider buying area rugs for your living spaces. Kids tend to sit on the floor and purchasing area rugs will make it more comfortable for them. 

 

Think About the Walls

Kids are notorious for writing on any surface they find and the biggest surface in your home that is accessible to kids are your walls. Imagine living through the nightmare of walking into your living room and discover how your kids have scribbled all over your walls. 

 

This is why you should consider having semigloss paint. Semi-gloss paint will allow you to easily remove stains from markers and crayons without sacrificing the color of the walls. Another solution to this is to switch to tiled walls which will give you the same results as well.

 

Mindful Storage

Having kids means having extra knick knacks in your home which can make your home look disorganized. Invest in closed or locked cabinets to avoid adding to the clutter.

 

Most of the time, we do not have sufficient space in our homes to create additional storage areas which is why it is crucial to be creative in finding storage solutions. One tip is to choose furniture that serves a dual-purpose. For example, there are sofas that have storage underneath the cushion. Also, there are kids tables that have storage as well. These simple solutions will allow you to store more things without the guilt of having it take up space in your home. 

Basic Guide to Flipping Houses

Posted By Mclain

 

The concept of house flipping is fairly simple; buy an outdated house at a low cost, give it a makeover, and sell it at a higher price. Sounds easy, right? But there are actually a lot of factors that one must consider before starting with flipping houses in order to be successful.

Although the market for house flipping has been growing in recent years, there are still a number of projects that fail to yield income. More often than not, this is due to the underestimation of the cost of the project as well as the time it needs to be accomplished, and the overestimation of the capabilities of the project manager. Just like in any industry, the more you know, the better which is why we’ve come up with a basic guideline to flipping houses. 

 

Financing

The first thing you need to consider is your finances. Understand home finances and decide how you’re going to pay for the house. Will you be paying for the house in cash or will you be getting a loan to finance this house? These are the basic questions you must answer first before starting a project.

 

Finding the Right Property

Once you’ve decided how you’re going to finance the project, start planning by conducting research. Research on the current state of the real estate market and the current trends in real estate. This is also the part where you begin to identify the type of property that you are looking for in order to serve the correct market, all while sticking to the budget you have set out. 

 

The 70% Rule

This is the general rule in house flipping. The 70% rule indicates how much a buyer is willing to spend on a project. This means that a buyer should never buy a property for more than 70% of the after repair value less the cost of repairs. 

So for example, the estimated after repair value of a property is $300,000 and the cost of repairs is $50,000 then the 70% rule states that the investor should spend a maximum of $160,000 to buy the property.

$300,000 x 0.70 = $210,000 – $50,000 = $160,000

 

Set a Timeline

Once you have mapped out your budget, start with planning the actual timeline for the renovations needed in the property. Consider all renovations and try to plan the best way to attack and complete the renovations so that you may dispose of the property as soon as possible.

 

Build a Great Team

In house flipping, time is of the essence. The longer one holds onto the property, the higher the costs and risk there is which is why one should find a great team to work and collaborate with flipping houses. 

The main component of this is to find contractors you actually trust and understands your vision as well as your needs. Of course, you can handle the repairs on your own, but as mentioned earlier, one of the rookie mistakes people make is overestimating their own capabilities and knowledge in flipping houses. On top of that, although you may save money by not hiring contractors, the time spent on flipping the house will only cost you the same. Be sure to check your contractors’ licenses and remind them of your budget and timeline.

 

Sell the property

The best tip for selling the property is to hire a real estate agent. Real estate agents are more knowledgeable of the current trends in the market and are well connected to potential buyers as well. On top of all this, they can post the listing in the Multiple Listing Service (MLS) database which makes it more probable for you to sell the house faster and at a better price. 

On the other hand, you can sell the house yourself. This will save you money but be aware of the risk of not being able to sell the property as quickly as a real estate agent would. This will all depend on your priority. 

Fun Facts About San Diego

Posted By Mclain

Also known as Califonia’s beach city, San Diego is an impressive city that has a lot to offer for people of all ages. From its great weather all year-round to its rich history, there are a number of fun facts about San Diego City that you may not be aware of. Here are some fun facts that we think might just interest you:

  1. San Diego Airport is considered as having the third busiest single runway in the world. The San Diego Airport comes next to the Gatwick Airport in London and the Mumbai Airport which makes it the busiest single runway in the United States. 
  2. San Diego is widely considered as the Avocado Capital of the World. Located in the north of San Diego County, Fallbrook hosts an annual Fallbrook Avocado Festival every April which attracts over 70,000 people. The festival includes all sorts of fun and games such as the biggest avocado contest, avocado car racing, and even a Little Miss and Mr. Avocado pageant.
  3. The average year-round temperature in San Diego is around 70 degrees which makes it an ideal destination for surfers. If you don’t know how to surf, there are a lot of surf schools as well as places that offer surfing lessons for beginners in the area.
  4. The world’s oldest active sailing ship is housed in San Diego. Known as The Star of India, this sailing ship was built in 1863 at the Ramsey Shipyard and has spent its years sailing from Great Britain to New Zealand and India. It was then restored in 1962 in San Diego and is now considered as both a National Historic Landmark and a California Historical Landmark.
  5. Jack in the Box was founded in San Diego back in February 1951 by Robert O. Peterson. This major fast-food chain now has over 2,200 locations spread across the country but its headquarters still remains in San Diego.
  6. Comic-con International is held in San Diego. The first Comic-con, which dates back to 1970, was only attended by 100 people whereas over 130,000 participants have attended in recent years. Comic-con hosts a wide array of events ranging from programming events to the Comic-con Independent Film Festival.
  7. The country’s most haunted house can be found in San Diego. The Whaley House Museum was named as the most haunted house in the country by The Travel Channel and has now been converted into a museum.
  8. San Diego has the highest number of dog-friendly restaurants per capita in the entire country. There are currently over 500 dog-friendly restaurants in San Diego where you can enjoy outdoor dining with your furry friend.
  9. The first baby panda born in the Western Hemisphere was born in the San Diego Zoo. There is a cafe in the San Diego Zoo named after the baby panda, Hua Mei.
  10. Popular songs such as “Balboa Park” by Bruce Springsteen, “The Road to Escondido” by Eric Clapton, and “Surfin’ USA” by The Beach Boys were all written about San Diego.

7 Backyard Improvement Ideas

Posted By Mclain

 

One of the benefits of living in California is having great weather throughout the year and the best way to take advantage of this is to have a beautiful and functional backyard.

 

Chances are, you’ve overlooked your backyard during your last home renovations so why not try and improve your backyard? With simple renovations, most of which you can do on your own or as a family activity, you can definitely spice things up a little bit and even improve the value of your home.

 

We’ve come up with 7 ideas to help you improve your backyard:

 

  • Grow a Garden

Take advantage of the time that you have and try different landscaping ideas for your backyard. You can add plants, flowers, fruits, and even vegetables to your garden. Not only will this make your backyard aesthetically pleasing to look at, but this may also be a new hobby and skill that you can add to your arsenal. 

 

  • Set up an Outdoor Living Room

Transform your boring backyard into an inviting destination at home by setting up an outdoor living area. Be sure to cement or to lay bricks in the area where you’re setting up so that your space will be more functional. The last step to this improvement is to add cozy furniture to complete the look.

 

  • Build a Firepit

A firepit will be a great addition to your outdoor living space. A firepit will allow you to maximize your outdoor living area as you will be able to stay outdoor for longer hours, even at night. Imagine a cozy night, sitting outside in your backyard, roasting marshmallows, and having great conversations with family. 

 

  • Build a Playground

In these trying times, having a playground at home is beneficial to the kids. From a simple sandbox to an over-the-top playhouse, there are a lot of options available online. Think of it as an at-home park for your kids wherein you don’t have to worry about their safety. On top of this, this may encourage your kids to spend less time on their phones or gadgets and more time outside in the sun.

 

  • Install a Grill

Installing a grill in your backyard gives you an alternative for dining out. Decide on whether a charcoal or gas grill would be best suited for your home and change things up a bit by having regular barbecues at home. Cooking is a great activity to be shared with the family and further maximizes the utility of your backyard.

 

  • Invest in Good Lighting

Good lighting is crucial as lighting affects the overall ambiance of your backyard. If your backyard is too dim, then it may come off as uninviting to some. String lights are a great way to add lighting to your backyard and are highly available online as well. 

 

  • Install Fences

Fences are not only for setting up boundaries to your property, but it also serves as protection for you, your family, and your pets. On top of this, it also provides you with some privacy. Given that you would be spending more time in your backyard, it’s crucial that you and your family feel safe and comfortable. 

 

Whether you choose to follow all these seven ideas or just one of the ideas, be sure that you choose what is appropriate for your backyard. Not all backyards are the same but the purpose of these ideas is just the same, and that is to maximize and improve your backyard. 

6 Helpful Tips in Finding the Right Property

Posted By Mclain

Looking for a property may be overwhelming for a lot of people. All of the time spent working hard to save up money to buy a property has built up to this moment and the pressure of being able to invest in the right property can be a bit tricky. There are countless things to consider when it comes to choosing a property, but we’ve come up with a few tips to help you decide:

 

Find the Right Realtor

Finding the right realtor is a critical step in being able to find the right property. Find a realtor who understands you and what your needs and wants are. As you’ll be spending a lot of time communicating and meeting with your realtor, your realtor must be someone who you have good chemistry with. 

 

Remember that a realtor may be experienced but that does not necessarily correlate to him being the right realtor for you. Another useful tip in finding the right realtor is for you to ask around. Ask your families, friends, and even colleagues about their experiences with realtors in your neighborhood.

 

Think About Your Finances

Always consider your finances. It is helpful to look for an independent financial adviser to walk you through the process of getting a loan and to help evaluate a suitable budget for you. Furthermore, you should also be mindful of having sufficient funding for the deposit. A sale will usually require 5% to 10% of the purchase price as a deposit. On top of this, there are other associated costs as well that you need to consider such as taxes, moving costs, improvement costs, and the likes. 

 

Write Down Your Wants and Needs

Writing down a list of your wants and needs is another critical part of being able to choose the right property. Once you start going to viewings and open houses it can be easy to get carried away by what you see, but as long as you have a list of your wants and needs, it’ll be easier to stay on track.

 

In trying to make a list of your wants and needs, consider your priorities in buying a property. Is the location of the property important? Do you want a property with a big backyard? Should the property be near a school or a mall? How many rooms do you need? Or how many slots does your garage need? These are some of the things which you might need to list down.

 

Decide on Your Non-negotiables

Having a list of your wants and needs is a good thing and there might be occasions wherein you might need to compromise on that list, but you also need to decide on your deal-breakers. You should be aware of the things that you are not comfortable with letting go. Inform your realtor of these deal-breakers and be patient in looking for the right property. 

 

Think Long-term

Always think long-term when trying to look for the right property. Buying a property is a huge investment and if you don’t see yourself living in the property for a long time, then it is probably not the right property for you. 

 

If you’re planning to start a family, then consider buying a property with more rooms. If you already have a family, then consider a property that’s near a school or a playground. 

 

Do Your Own Research

On top of everything your realtor has shown you, it is also beneficial to do your research. You may research on the neighborhood or just simply do a Google search on the events, activities, and local hangout spots in the community to help ease your mind in deciding on a property.

 

We hope that this article has helped you be more prepared and informed in looking for the right property for you. Feel free to reach out to us today should you have any questions. 

What to Expect During Real Estate Closing

Posted By Mclain

 

After all your open houses, shortlisting, lender talks, and budget discussions, you’ve finally set your sights on a dream home that you’re prepared to invest in. If you’re interested in purchasing a property any time soon, you may have heard of the term “closing” before. For those who have never been through a closing process, understanding what it entails can be tricky. After all, there are plenty of moving parts involved and any real estate transaction is chock full of trick jargon. But once your offer is finally accepted and money is provided to secure the contract, the real estate closing process officially begins and you move into the final phase of homeownership. Here’s what you should know:

 

The Closing Timeline

On average, a property closing takes between 30 to 45 days. On the closing date itself—which is agreed upon between the buyer and seller—all the final paperwork is signed and reviewed, and this process can take up to an hour. However, it should be noted that the actual closing date can be changed based on various factors (which we’ll discuss later).

 

Understanding Closing Contingencies

There are several closing contingencies listed in your contract, and it’s important for you to meet these conditions before the home sale is considered legally binding. The main contingencies include a home inspection, an appraisal, several loan documents, homeowners’ insurance, and a final walkthrough.

 

The home inspection protects you from a bad deal, ensuring that there are no hidden faults that could cost you after the sale of the property is finalized. The appraisal fee is required by the mortgage lender to ensure you’re borrowing the right amount of money, and that in the event the buyer defaults, the cost is covered by the sale of the home. Lastly, you’ll need to gather several supporting loan documents to get the final approval on your financing needs.

 

Closing Paperwork & Closing Day

As previously mentioned, the closing day typically takes about an hour, but it helps to know what you’re getting into beforehand. Closing paperwork includes the promissory note, the escrow disclosure, the mortgage, the right to cancel form, and several other government-mandated documents, disclaimers, and disclosures.

 

During the closing day, you’ll also pay the lender origination fee, prorated property taxes, any interest that has accrued prior to your first mortgage payment, your title insurance premium, and a portion of HOA fees if applicable. The average closing costs in the United States hovers around $3,400, but depending on your state, this number could be higher or lower. However, your lender will give you an estimated amount of closing costs early on in the loan process.

 

Getting a Mortgage Pre-approval

A mortgage pre-approval can help you shorten the closing process because most of the information required will already be in your lender’s database. A pre-approval shows the seller that the lender has already reviewed, approved, and determined how much they can lend you for a home purchase.

 

Furthermore, the pre-approval doesn’t just aid your closing process, but it also provides you with a sense of ease as you go about your home search because you’ll be able to search for homes within your budget. And lastly, it gives you more credibility as a potential buyer, which could put you ahead of the competition.

 

Potential Closing Delays

There are several reasons why the closing process might be delayed. These issues can occur at any time during the process, including up until the closing day. When you understand these potential road bumps ahead of time, you can help prevent them.

 

For instance, an official appraisal might be much lower than you expected, which is often a sign that you’re paying much more for a property than what it’s worth. This could end up putting you in a compromising situation because a lender won’t give you more money than you need for the cost of the house. Although there are several ways to remediate this situation, it could still throw a curveball into your timeline.

 

Loan complications are another common cause of closing delays. For instance, even if you were prequalified for a certain loan amount, that offer could change when the bank takes a deeper look into your financial history, especially if you’ve made some big purchases recently or your credit score has changed in the meantime.

 

Lastly, a home inspection can reveal issues that may encourage you to re-think the terms of your agreement. All homes, including newer homes, will have some sort of issue—no property is perfect out-the-box. Some issues will be minor and readily fixable, while others will require some negotiation. For instance, serious plumbing, foundation, and electrical problems can result in costly complications, and it’s important for you to understand what you’re getting into.